Tuesday Afternoon News, December 10
Plymouth County Supervisors Vote To Partially Vacate 212th Street
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors again discussed the issue of vacating 212th Street during its weekly meeting held on Tuesday. This was the second week the supervisors held a public hearing regarding the access road. Last week, the supervisors had voted down the project and had asked Smith and Company officials to offer a more detailed plan of their intended expansion. On Friday of last week, Supervisors Jack Guenthner and Mark Loutsch met with SmithCo officials and toured the manufacturing facility to get a better understanding of Smith Co's expansion plans and why the road would need to be vacated. Guenthner says the two supervisors had discussions that lasted nearly two hours. He informed the other supervisors that he now understands the reasons for SmithCo wanting to vacate a portion of the road.
Guenthner says SmithCo officials showed where they want to expand their facilities to the southeast and to the southwest of the present facilities. Guenthner says the expansion plans show SmithCo wishes to add an additional 4,000 square feet to the present plant, with an estimated cost for construction to run more than $500,000.
Guenthner indicated SmithCo hopes to hire additional employees to join the 95 employees already working at the manufacturing plant, but he said SmithCo officials does not know the exact number of employees that will be hired. Following Guenthner's presentation, the supervisors voted to approve the vacating a portion of 212th Street for the expansion of SmithCo's facilities.
Man Denies Falseifying Records For School Buses
HOLSTEIN, Iowa (AP) - A March trial has been scheduled for a former transportation director of a northwest Iowa school district accused of falsifying repair records on school buses.
Fifty-one-year-old Douglas Wessling, of Holstein, pleaded not guilty on Friday to three misdemeanor counts of tampering with records. His trial is set to begin on March 11.
Wessling was put on leave and then lost his job as transportation director for the Galva-Holstein Community School District after an investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.
Superintendent Dave Kwikkel has said three district buses were taken out of service because of damage. Kwikkel said Wessling put one of them back into use before it had been repaired. Authorities say he also falsified repair records on at least three buses.
Dead Body Found At Iowa State University
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say the body of a dead man has been found in a residence hall at Iowa State University, but no foul play is suspected.
The Iowa State University Police Department says in a news release that the body was found hanging Tuesday morning near a laundry room in Wilson Hall. Authorities believe the male was a student at the Ames campus.
Police have not released the man's name pending family notification. Additional information is not available.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the state crime laboratory are assisting campus police in the case.
Jefferson Hopes To Get Casino
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Supporters of a proposed Jefferson casino say they've reached an agreement with the casino operator to share 5 percent of the revenue with charitable organizations in Green County and the surrounding counties.
Grow Greene County Gaming Corp., the nonprofit organization applying for a gambling license and Wild Rose Entertainment, the company planning to run the casino announced details of their operating agreement Tuesday.
Casinos in Iowa share an average of 4.1 percent of revenue with charitable groups. The state requires at least 3 percent.
Tom Timmins, Wild Rose CEO says the Jefferson casino should generate $30 million a year, providing $1.5 million for charitable groups in Greene and surrounding counties.
Wild Rose operates casinos in Emmetsburg and Clinton. It's proposing a casino, restaurant and hotel complex for Jefferson.
Dying Iowa Inmate Released To Hospice Care
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A dying Iowa inmate sentenced to life in prison when she was a teenager has been released into hospice care.
Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta says 33-year-old Kristina Fetters was admitted to a Des Moines hospice Tuesday morning.
Fetters was 15 when she entered prison for a 1995 first-degree murder conviction. The Iowa Parole Board granted her a compassionate release from prison after a judge resentenced her for such eligibility.
A landmark Supreme Court ruling last year said life sentences without parole are unconstitutional for juveniles. A Polk County judge recommended immediate release because Fetters was diagnosed with Stage 4 inoperable breast cancer in September.
Fetters has been assigned a parole officer who will monitor her condition and report to the board.
Two Women Charged With Voter Fraud
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two women from Muscatine County have been accused of voter fraud.
The Iowa secretary of state's office says the two are accused of registering to vote and voting in the 2012 general election even though they were not U.S. citizens.
The two were identified as 21-year-old Mayra Alejandra Lopez Morales and 49-year-old Sylvia Rada, both of Muscatine. They each face a felony count of election misconduct, which carries a maximum prison term of five years. Online court records don't list the names of their attorneys.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has been checking allegations of voter fraud for the past 18 months in conjunction with the secretary of state's office.